A few weeks ago, I did my usual stop for wax. Every few months, I go in and buy ten sticks, which usually last me a while until I lose/give them away/fill them with dirt/use them for what they’re meant for. I did a quick calculation in my head when I was walking out the door with my bag of wax: if I’ve been surfing almost daily for ten years, and I’ve spent $15 on wax every two months, that means I’ve spent $900 on wax. I could have bought a shitty car for that. Or a ton of beer. Instead, I bought 600 bars of wax, all of which seems to be currently under my toenails or melted into the box of my truck.
So here’s how to make surf wax yourself. It’s pretty easy. Granted, buying it is easier. And the wax is better. But DIY is so in right now!
Step 1: Peel back the bark on a pine tree. I used a ponderosa, because it was convenient, but I don’t think it matters. What matters is the sap. And don’t worry, you’re not hurting the tree. Think of it like skinning your knee. Just don’t go crazy and girdle your neighbor’s 500-year-old prized pine. Think of that like cutting off your leg. You’ll kill it, and your neighbor will be pissed. Also, you’ve just killed a 500-year-old tree in an effort to save one dollar.
Step 2: Take an old plastic container (because you’re such a good recycler, you earth lover!), cut the ridge off the top, then staple it beneath the cut off bark. After a long time – 48 hours or so – you should have a surprisingly small amount of sap in the bottom. Lucky for you, sap is sticky, and you don’t need too much. Also, it’s a decent fire starter, so you can finally burn down that shed under your pine tree and make an insurance claim on it.
Step 3: Find an old candle and some coconut oil, which is not cheap. You can also use beeswax, but that shit is expensive, too. It’s like they have to fight the bees for it, and go to war with the coconuts. After you’ve spent your life savings on coconut oil, hack a chunk of wax off the candle, unless you mortgaged your house for the beeswax. Then use that instead. You just mortgaged your house for it, right?
There are varying methods here, but according to some, if you’re making warm water wax, you don’t need the sap. I’d add it anyway. I added it, but if you want to try out a few methods, have at it. The general rule of thumb, quantity-wise, is three parts wax, one part sap, one part coconut oil.
Step 5: Melt it all together. It’ll smell delicious. If you eat it, it will not taste good and cover your tongue in hot, sticky wax. Unless you’re into some weird shit, you probably won’t like it. Pour your melted wax into a container of some kind. If you’re really into recycling, use an old tuna can. Just be sure to wash it, because no one will want to surf with you if your surfboard smells like tuna – except the man in the grey suit, and you don’t want to surf with him.
Step 6: Refrigerate! After an hour or so, pull it out, spread it on, and shred on it. Then you get to look down at your friends who buy wax. Suckers. They spent a buck, and all you spent was three days and an entire bottle of shampoo getting pine sap out of your hair. Look at you, you sustainable recycler!